Today's poem is by Janet Kaplan

The Tooth Ministry

Cuddle me, says Vastwing. Hold my hand. Give me a
kiss a kiss a kiss. Cuplight dreams of burgers and soft
serve. Gretchen the dog, of chewy sandals flapping
on the beach. Ashes has fake passports and his girl-
friend Soot has pills. She's found her way to the tooth
ministry. They protrude like horns, her teeth, twist
like demons. "My teef," she cries, open-mouthed
and drooling, and the Lord hears. The Lord straight-
ens. Mr. Torchsong beats the others, but leaves Soot
alone. "That's the Lord's girl." In a nutshell, says Mud-
grace, there exist only four things: a piece of glass,
an unspoken thought, a child, the last half of an hour.
Some of them doomed, by their naturally good teeth,
to be beaten. Rise wakes full of sorrow, but some-
where in heaven a spirit smiles. "We left behind the
perfect things," it says. Stop had read the book that
morning, but there was no use in his crying out. No
one could save him.

Copyright © 2011 Janet Kaplan All rights reserved
from Dreamlife of a Philanthropist
University of Notre Dame Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

Support Verse Daily
Sponsor Verse Daily!

Home    Archives   Web Weekly Features    About Verse Daily   FAQs  Submit to Verse Daily   Follow Verse Daily on Twitter

Copyright © 2002-2011 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved